Licorice Root : Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Licorice Root : Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Licorice Root

Licorice root, also known as mulethi or Glycyrrhiza glabra, has a rich history spanning centuries and holds a significant place in traditional medicine and culinary practices across various cultures. Originating primarily from the Mediterranean, licorice root is a herbaceous perennial plant characterized by its distinct sweet taste and remarkable medicinal properties.

Mulethi or Glycyrrhiza Licorice:

"Mulethi" or "Mulethi powder" is the Hindi term for licorice, derived from the Sanskrit word "Yashti-madhu," translating to "sweet root." This nomenclature reflects its renowned sweet flavor and medicinal uses. "Glycyrrhiza," the botanical name for licorice, originates from the Greek words "glykys" (sweet) and "riza" (root), denoting its sweet root characteristics.

Licorice in Different Forms:

Licorice root is available in various forms, including dried roots, powders (such as mulethi powder or licorice powder), extracts, and even teas. The root and its derivatives are valued not only for their sweetness but also for their therapeutic properties, prominently featuring in traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Historical and Medicinal Significance:

Historically, licorice root has been utilized for its diverse medicinal applications, including its role as an expectorant, anti-inflammatory agent, and for gastrointestinal issues. Its active compound, glycyrrhizin, contributes to its sweetness and therapeutic effects.


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Licorice root uses & benefits

Licorice root, scientifically known as Glycyrrhiza glabra or mulethi, holds a prominent place in traditional medicine and modern herbal practices, offering a multitude of health benefits attributed to its rich array of active compounds.

Mulethi or Glycyrrhiza Licorice Roots:

"Glycyrrhiza licorice" or "mulethi" is a herb with a sweet, earthy flavor. It's available in various forms like mulethi powder or licorice powder, derived from the dried roots of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. This botanical marvel contains glycyrrhizin, the active component contributing to its distinctive taste and therapeutic potential.

Mulethi Benefits:

  • Respiratory Health: Mulethi serves as an expectorant, aiding in respiratory issues like coughs, colds, and bronchitis. Its soothing properties alleviate throat irritation and promote easier breathing.
  • Digestive Support: Licorice root assists in digestive health by soothing stomach discomfort, reducing acidity, and supporting the stomach lining. It's used to manage issues like indigestion, heartburn, and gastritis.
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: Glycyrrhiza glabra exhibits anti-inflammatory characteristics, beneficial in managing inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or skin irritation.
  • Adrenal Support: Licorice root can support adrenal gland function, potentially aiding in managing stress and fatigue.
  • Skincare Benefits: Liquorice powder or extracts find application in skincare due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They assist in managing skin conditions like eczema, acne, and hyperpigmentation.
  • Potential Antiviral Effects: Research suggests that licorice root may possess antiviral properties, potentially inhibiting certain viruses' replication.
  • Hormonal Balance: Glycyrrhiza glabra may help regulate hormones, aiding in conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

While mulethi benefits are substantial, excessive consumption of licorice root may lead to adverse effects, particularly in individuals with hypertension or certain health conditions. Consulting a healthcare professional before regular or extensive use is advisable, especially for those with pre-existing health concerns or when considering licorice root as a supplement. Integrating licorice root in moderate amounts, considering its advantageous properties, can contribute positively to overall health and wellness.


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Recommended usage of Licorice root

The recommended usage of Licorice root, known as Glycyrrhiza glabra or mulethi powder, encompasses diverse applications owing to its extensive health benefits, especially in skincare and holistic medicine.

Using Glycyrrhiza Licorice Root:

  • Internal Consumption: Licorice root is available in various forms like licorice powder or dried roots. It can be consumed orally as an herbal supplement or brewed as a tea. The recommended dosage varies; hence, it's advisable to follow product-specific instructions or consult a healthcare professional.
  • Topical Application: In skincare, incorporating licorice root benefits the skin due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Liquorice root extract or powder can be infused into creams, serums, or masks, contributing to managing skin conditions like acne, eczema, or hyperpigmentation.
  • Holistic Wellness: Licorice root's holistic benefits extend beyond skincare. Its adaptogenic properties may support adrenal health and stress management. However, consistent usage or high doses should be regulated and monitored.
  • Herbal Formulations: Traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda often utilize Jeshthamadh or Jethi Madh (alternate names for licorice) in herbal formulations. It plays a crucial role in these preparations, enhancing their efficacy and balancing various bodily systems.
  • Consultation: Before commencing a regimen with licorice root, especially as an oral supplement, it's prudent to consult with a healthcare practitioner. This is particularly vital for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant or nursing women, or those on medications.
  • Skin Benefits: When applied topically, licorice root benefits the skin by reducing redness, soothing irritation, and brightening the complexion. It's often included in skincare products for its potential to even out skin tone and combat dark spots.

Side effects of Licorice root

Licorice root, also known as mulethi or Glycyrrhiza glabra, offers a spectrum of health benefits, particularly in skincare. However, it's essential to be aware of potential side effects, especially when using it extensively or in high doses for prolonged periods.

Potential Side Effects of Licorice Root:

  • Hypertension and Sodium Retention: Glycyrrhizin, a compound in licorice root, can cause sodium retention and potassium loss, potentially leading to increased blood pressure. Individuals with hypertension or heart conditions should be cautious with licorice root intake.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: Prolonged or excessive consumption of licorice root might interfere with hormonal balance, particularly affecting cortisol levels. This imbalance could result in issues such as edema, fatigue, or irregular menstruation.
  • Electrolyte Imbalance: Licorice root's impact on potassium levels may cause electrolyte imbalances. This imbalance might lead to symptoms like muscle weakness, irregular heart rhythms, or fatigue.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to licorice root when applied topically. This can manifest as skin irritation, redness, or itching, particularly when using mulethi powder for face or skin.
  • Pregnancy Concerns: Pregnant women should exercise caution with licorice root consumption due to potential adverse effects on fetal development. It's advisable to avoid high doses or extended use during pregnancy.
  • Interactions with Medications: Licorice root may interact with certain medications, impacting their efficacy or causing adverse effects. Individuals on medications for heart conditions, blood pressure, or hormonal therapies should consult a healthcare professional before using licorice root extensively.
  • Sensitive Skin Reactions: While licorice benefits for skin are recognized, individuals with sensitive skin may experience adverse reactions like redness, irritation, or allergic dermatitis when using licorice-infused products extensively.
  • Gastrointestinal Discomfort: In some cases, licorice root consumption might lead to stomach discomfort, including bloating, nausea, or diarrhea, especially with prolonged or high-dose use.

It's essential to moderate licorice root consumption, whether orally or topically, and seek guidance from a healthcare professional, especially for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant women, or those on medications. By being mindful of potential side effects, one can enjoy the benefits of licorice root while minimizing associated risks.

Precautions while using Licorice root

When incorporating Glycyrrhiza licorice, commonly known as mulethi or licorice root, into your wellness regimen, certain precautions can help optimize its benefits while minimizing potential risks, especially when using mulethi powder for its various advantages in skincare and health.

Patch Testing: Before applying licorice root topically, particularly mulethi powder for skin benefits, conduct a patch test. Apply a small amount of diluted solution or product on a small skin area to check for allergic reactions or skin sensitivities.

Moderate Usage: While licorice root offers numerous benefits for skin and overall health, avoid excessive consumption or prolonged use without breaks. High doses or extended periods may lead to potential side effects, including electrolyte imbalances or hormonal disruptions.

Consultation with Healthcare Professionals: Individuals with underlying health conditions, especially those related to heart health, blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, or pregnant and nursing women, should seek advice from healthcare professionals before incorporating licorice root extensively into their routine.

Mindful Dosage: Be mindful of the dosage when using licorice root supplements or mulethi powder in herbal formulations. Adhere to recommended dosage guidelines provided by reputable sources or healthcare professionals to avoid potential adverse effects.

Prolonged Use Caution: Prolonged usage of licorice root or its derivatives for skin benefits, such as liquorice benefits for skin, should be monitored. If any adverse reactions or sensitivities arise, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist or healthcare provider.

Awareness of Interactions: Licorice root might interact with certain medications, affecting their potency or causing adverse reactions. Individuals on medications should discuss licorice root usage with their healthcare provider to avoid potential interactions.

Quality and Source: Ensure the quality and source of licorice root products, such as Jeshthamadh powder or liquorice root, by obtaining them from reputable sources to ensure purity and potency.

Combining with Other Skincare Products: When incorporating licorice root into skincare routines, consider potential interactions with other skincare products and the cumulative effects, especially when combining multiple active ingredients.

By practicing these precautions and maintaining moderation in licorice root usage, individuals can harness its benefits effectively while minimizing potential risks, ensuring a safer and more beneficial experience in skincare and overall health.

FAQs on Licorice root:

  1. What is Licorice Root, and what is its botanical name?

Licorice root, also known as mulethi or Glycyrrhiza glabra, is an herb renowned for its sweet taste and therapeutic properties.

  1. What are the benefits of mulethi or licorice root for skin health?

Licorice root offers numerous benefits for skin, including soothing irritation, managing hyperpigmentation, and providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

  1. What advantages does mulethi powder offer for skin conditions?

Mulethi powder benefits the skin by potentially reducing redness, addressing acne, and promoting even skin tone due to its skin-soothing and brightening properties.

  1. How can licorice root or mulethi powder be used effectively for skincare?

Licorice root or mulethi powder can be infused into skincare products like creams, serums, or masks to harness their skin-benefiting properties.

  1. What are the specific benefits of Glycyrrhiza licorice for skin concerns?

Licorice root in skincare aids in managing conditions like eczema, acne, and inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

  1. Are there any particular advantages of using licorice or mulethi powder for skin brightening?

Yes, mulethi powder benefits skin brightness by assisting in managing dark spots, uneven skin tone, and pigmentation issues.

  1. How does licorice root work for sensitive or irritated skin?

Licorice root's anti-inflammatory nature makes it beneficial for soothing and calming sensitive or irritated skin, reducing redness and discomfort.

  1. Can liquorice root be used in natural skincare routines?

Absolutely, licorice root or mulethi powder is a popular ingredient in natural skincare due to its holistic skin-nurturing properties.

  1. Are there specific uses of licorice root or mulethi powder for skin conditions like acne?

Yes, licorice root or mulethi powder benefits acne-prone skin by reducing inflammation, controlling oiliness, and potentially inhibiting bacteria growth.

  1. How effective is licorice or mulethi powder in managing skin discoloration?

Licorice root's skin-brightening properties make it useful in managing skin discoloration issues like dark spots, blemishes, and sun damage.

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